Portuguese engineer develops new generation of wine vats

January 19, 2023

Civil engineer Tatiana Sá Marques, from Coimbra, developed an innovative concrete wine fermentation and storage vat, in which the technology, design and materials are 100% Portuguese.

The co-founder and executive manager of WiseShape, Tatiana Sá Marques, explained that the concrete used in the vats has characteristics that resemble amphorae and 'kvevris', which were used by the Greeks, Romans, Persians and Etruscans to ferment and store wine.

These characteristics are “temperature control and gentle micro-oxygenation – just some of the most visible oenological advantages guaranteed by the thermal inertia and porosity of the concrete”.

The design of the shape guarantees that "there are no dead zones or 'short-circuit' effects in the movement of liquid or wine mass in the pumping over process".

In the opinion of Tatiana Sá Marques, Portugal has tradition and prestige in the production of quality wine, however, it has never developed equipment and technology directly involved in the wine sector.

“The new concrete wine vat is aimed at the higher quality and ‘premium’ wine segment and competes directly with the most advanced international solutions”, she highlighted.

The co-founder and executive manager of WiseShape recalled that when she started to design and study how to create a concrete wine vat that was really innovative, she took into account the cost of production and the final price.

“My family is involved both in engineering and in the production and marketing of quality wines, so the balance between investment and profitability has always been part of my reality. For this reason, I focused on developing a technology that would allow adding quality to ‘premium’ wines – in fermentation and storage – without the customer simultaneously losing profitability and possibly shortening the return on investment”, she said.

According to the civil engineer, this innovative equipment can receive red, white, green and rosé wines and is already operating at Quinta Valle Madruga, in Valpaços.

“Soon, it will also be installed in the largest and most prestigious wine producers in Portugal”, she added.

WiseShape was born in the Habitat for Business Innovation in Strategic Sectors (HIESE), in Penela, of the Pedro Nunes Institute (IPN), in Coimbra, and is also incubated in the universe of the Science and Technology Park of the University of Porto (UPTEC) .

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